Ashish Dhawan: Biography, Portfolio, Investment

Ashish Dhawan, among India’s top investors gained immense knowledge and experience through this education and experience with the best brains in the industry. Read about his journey and investment strategies. 

Ashish Dhawan

Ashish Dhawan

Ashish Dhawan was one of the brains behind one of the top private equity firms in India, ChrysCapital. After having co-founded the company in 1999, he ran it for almost 13 years till 2012 when he left to create another organization called the Central Square Foundation (CSF).

The mission of CSF is to transform the education system and its quality in India. His endeavor led him to create Ashoka University, leading sciences, and liberal arts university based out of Haryana, India.

Ashish is one of the smartest investors in India and he is known for being highly passionate to serve the nation. 

Ashish Dhawan Biography

Name Ashish Dhawan 
Born March 10th, 1969
Age 52
Alma Mater Yale University, Harvard Business School 
Occupation Founder and CEO of Central Square Foundation, Founder and Governing Body Member of Ashoka University, Founder and CEO of Improving the Quality of Life 
Spouse Manisha Dhawan 

Ashish Dhawan Education

Ashish Dhawan was born in Delhi, India on March 10, 1969. From his schooling days, he was a bright child and he always had an intent to do something for the nation that can make him proud.

He did his schooling at the St. Xavier’s Collegiate School and he finished as a topper there. Following this, he went on to graduate from Yale University with a dual degree (BA/BS).

Post this, he completed his MBA from the acclaimed Harvard Business School with a distinction grade. Ashish turned into an entrepreneur at the age of 30 and a social activist at 45 years old. 

Also Read: Money Market in India

Ashish Dhawan Net Worth

Ashish Dhawan is a renowned Indian investor who stands at a net worth of ₹ 700 crores (estimated value).

He is the co-founder of Chrysalis Capital (ChrysCapital). He also founded the Central Square Foundation (CSF). Asish Dhawan has pioneered the growth of the Indian venture capital industry.

Ashish Dhawan Investment Early Days 

Ashish’s career started in 1992 where he worked for Mergers Group, one of the best investments back at Wall Street.

Following this, for the next two years, he worked with the McCown DeLeeuw & Co. that is based in California, and there he was a junior associate.

Here, he met McCown who was the reason behind Ashish taking up MBA at the Harvard Business School. McCown encouraged and persuaded him to go for the course and upgrade his learning portfolio. 

After taking a gap from working to finish his MBA, Ashish started working in the Risk Arbitrage Group in the highly acclaimed Goldman Sachs. At the age of 28, he left the job and returned to India to realize his childhood dream of serving his nation. 

Soon after he landed in India in 1999, he co-founded ChrysCapital with one of his classmates from Harvard. Even though the business was new in the market at that time, it managed to be successful in spite of the hurdles it faced.

Being in the company for around 5 to 6 years, he managed funds of close to $1 billion and this made ChrysCapital one of the biggest equity capital funds in India. 

Next, he took to fulfilling his dream of making a difference in the Indian education system. He co-founded the Young India Fellowship which is a specially curated postgraduate program that focuses on learning through experience.

The aim of this program is to create the next generations of India’s leaders. Although ChrysCapital is one of the leading private equity firms in the country now, Ashish left his journey of 20 years in the investment management business in order to become a full-time philanthropist. 

In 2012, he founded the Central Square Foundation (CSF) that provides grants and policies with the aim of improving education quality in India. He extended this effort in the field of education further by founding Ashoka University in 2014. 

Ashish Dhawan Investment Strategies 

Ashish Dhawan has obtained and honed these skills thanks to the quality of education he has had and working under smart people from the investment market industry in both the USA and India. Here are some of the strategies that can be derived from his portfolio:

  • Diversify Your Investments 

Ashish Dhawan had faced one of his worst times as an investor during the dot-com crash in 2000. At this time, he lost a lot of money he had put on telecom companies.

But because he had diversified his investments, he earned more than 6 times his investment value through companies that survived the crash.

ChrysCapital had invested in SpectraMind for around $10 million and earned close to $60 million. Some other investments of ChrysCapital that became highly profitable are Global Vantedge, Gammon, TechTeam, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, etc. 

  • Market Analysis 

It is important for all investors to thoroughly learn about the company, the team running it, and its performance in the market, before putting money on it.

The analysis of the different risks involved in a said investment is vital to drive the decision about putting in the money. Some of the companies where Ashish lost a lot of money are Mastek, Orient Green Power, etc. 

  • Focus on Long Term Investment 

Ashish Dhawa’s focus has always been investing for the longer term. Such investments ride the wave and market fluctuations and gain profits in the long run.

One example is when Ashish invested in Mphasis in 2001 where the per-share value was INR 350.

The price of the stock fell down to INR 50 but in the long run, they earned around 5 times this return. It is essential for investors to stay calm during market volatility. 

Ashish Dhawan Portfolio 

Here are the top 5 portfolio investments of Ashish Dhawan, depending on the quality held and the holding value. 

Company *Quantity Held (No. of Shares)*Value of Shares*Industry
Max Healthcare Institute Limited 13,738,267INR 437.9 CroresMedical and Healthcare
Birlasoft Limited 8,000,000INR 337.4 CroresIT Consulting
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited 5,100,000INR 287.3 CroresMedical and Healthcare 
IDFC Limited 56,000,000INR 280.8 CroresFinance 
Equitas Holdings Limited 16,000,000INR 200.4 CroresBanking
* These values can vary from time to time

Final Thoughts And Takeaways – Ashish Dhawan 

Ashish Dhawan’s major inspiration has been Benjamin Franklin. He believes that one must not invest without having any knowledge of the market.

There are plenty of tools and resources over the Internet through which anybody can learn about how the market works and what it is up to.

Another tip from Ashish Dhawan is to stay rooted in your investments and be patient, because if the company is good, you may get returns in the long run.

Another takeaway from Ashish Dhawan’s life is that money is not everything in life, it’s important for people to put efforts to make our nation proud.